Division 2 Products and Work Systems

Department 2 focuses on the configuration of technical products, particularly work equipment and socio-technical work systems. Its goal is to reduce the risks for working people and to configure the world of work so that it responds to the needs of people.

Starting from the health and safety oriented configuration of technical products as the first step in the chain of prevention, on this basis, the socio-technical work system is brought under consideration, with the elements of the workplace, the individual, the work equipment, -task, -process and -environment. In addition to the configuration of the product, during the configuration of the work systems, the context of use, particularly the health and safety oriented use of the work equipment, is of primary importance.

The key tasks of the department are

  • research and development,
  • policy consultation, and
  • the statutory tasks according to the Product Safety Act.

Its key areas of focus in research and development are

  • the configuration of safe products, especially work equipment,
  • the assessment and configuration of innovative technologies with work equipment and work systems, particularly in the context of ambient intelligence technologies and the industry 4.0,
  • physical factors and the working environment,
  • psychological burdens, particularly those appertaining to the configuration of work equipment, work tasks and the working environment.

In the area of policy consultation, the department supports political institutions with the provi-sion of scientifically based specialist expertise. The key focus of the support lies with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS), and encompasses special advice on product safety and the configuration of work systems during the setting and implementation of regulations, as well as the participation in national, European and international consultative committees, including the administrative committees for the standardisation and the drafting of regulations. In addition, the department is also home to the Product Safety Commission (AfPS), the Committee for Workplaces (ASTA) and the Committee on Work Equipment (ABS).

According to the Product Safety Act, the statutory tasks of the department range from work equipment to consumer products. The key tasks encompass

  • the completion of risk assessments with products, and supporting the market surveil-lance authorities with the development and completion of surveillance concepts,
  • the fulfilment of the tasks as the German reporting hub for hazardous products from and to Europe,
  • the publication of the German prohibition orders,
  • the publication of lists of standards and the GS inspection bodies.

To the topic


Director and Professor Dr Thomas Alexander

Head of
Division 2 Products and Work Systems

Director and Professor Dr Lars Adolph

Scientific Management and Coordination of Research in AI
Division 2 Products and Work Systems

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